Moms for Liberty got caught canoodling with the Proud Boy. Again. In stage horror, Moms for Liberty issued a press release stating “Moms for Liberty is in no way affiliated with the Proud Boys…”. Again. So let’s revisit some of the coverage of the Moms for Liberty-Proud Boys coupling—the one we know the Moms would never, ever engage in. Except . . .
Here’s the latest evidence of the close relationship between Moms for Liberty and the Proud Boys, reported on November 13 by Robert Burns in the Space Rocket Daily, Moms for Liberty leadership Poses with Proud Boys and Flashes “White Power” Sign.
“This time, several members of Moms for Liberty in Kentucky, and at least two of is County Chapter Chairs in Kentucky, posted photos of themselves posing with a Kentucky Chapter of The Proud Boys. Also in the photos, some of the members are flashing what is known to most as the “white power” symbol.”
Mirna Eads, an M4L chapter chair, spoke candidly to reporter Burns: “We posed with them because we had a goal in common: raising awareness of the dangers that lurk around our children and that we were both labeled as hate groups by the SPLC.” . . . When we asked Mirna about the sign that Boone County Chapter Chair Karen Strayer was displaying in the photo commonly known as the “white power” sign she stated “That is the 3% Patriot Symbol. The 3%ers: a group of patriots. The group advocates gun ownership rights.”
David Gilbert of Vice News provided a comprehensive of Moms for Liberty’s ties to Proud boys and other extremist groups in Inside Moms for Liberty Close Relationship with the Proud Boys. Here’s a sample:
“But the attacks didn’t just come from Moms for Liberty members, Caballero said; they also came from members of a local Proud Boys chapter. The Vice City Proud Boys were co-founded by former Proud Boy “chairman” Enrique Tarrio, who earlier this month was found guilty of seditious conspiracy by a federal jury in Washington, D.C. The alleged attacks included threats to her business, deeply personal messages referencing past trauma, and false police reports against her.”
“It’s not just Proud Boys that Moms for Liberty has allegedly gotten involved with, however. A VICE News investigation has uncovered links between numerous Moms for Liberty chapters and extremist groups like the Proud Boys, Three Percenters, sovereign citizen groups, QAnon conspiracist, Christian nationalists, and in one case, with the founder of the AK-47-worshiping Rod of Iron Ministries church in Pennsylvania. Around the country, Moms for Liberty has formed links with extremist groups and militias, which are joining forces with the “parental rights” group at protests and school board meetings, and in turn pushing the already far-right organization toward even more extreme ideology.”
“During her six months as a member of Moms for Liberty, Caballero was involved in multiple situations where the group’s members collaborated with the Proud Boys, she said, including a school board meeting in October 2021 where a left-wing activist was harassed outside a meeting for wearing a mask.”
“The Proud Boys are heavily involved in the Miami chapter of Moms for Liberty,” Caballero said. “Moms for Liberty want to push their agenda with fear, harassment, and intimidation, and they have the Vice City Proud Boys as their foot soldiers.”
According to The Daily Beast, writing about Bridget Ziegler’s re-election to Sarasota county School board in 2022:
“Just look at 30-year-old Nicholas Radovich, who showed up in a Proud Boys hat and T-shirt at an Aug. 23 election night celebration following a triple win for right-wing school board candidates in Sarasota, Florida. . . . When the time came for a group picture, Radovich and 50-year-old fellow Proud Boy John Hoel joined everybody else. The beaming people crowded around Radovich did not seem bothered by his Proud Boys attire. They did not seem to notice that he was flashing a white power hand signal.”
The press asked Bridget Ziegler about her Proud Boys support, she distanced herself, and a pissing match between her and Hoel ensued.
“During celebrations on Tuesday night, two of the newly-elected board members were photographed at the official victory party with two of the Proud Boys, one of whom posed flashing the OK sign, a known white-power dog whistle.”
Here is what the Southern Poverty Law Center wrote about Bridget Ziegler’s re-election:
“Bridget Ziegler, co-founder of Moms for Liberty and chair of the Sarasota, Florida, school board, was endorsed by Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and local Proud Boys to win her reelection to the Sarasota school board in August 2022.”
Here’s The Daily Beast again, reporting on a May 2023 M4L-Prouds Boys controversy:
This is from the Southern Poverty Law Center’s The Year in Hate and Extremism 2022 report:
From Southern Poverty Law Center’s Assault on Inclusive Education 2022:
“Ziegler’s August reelection to the Sarasota County School Board likely came thanks in part to her husband Christian Ziegler’s position as vice-chair of the Florida Republican party and a ringing endorsement from the Proud Boy-run Sarasota Watchdogs, an affiliation Ziegler has since attempted to downplay. In September 2022, she told the Sarasota Herald-Tribune, the Proud Boys were not “involved with the work, and they played no part in the win. …These guys who show up — are total yahoos, irrelevant.” Yet according to reports, Ziegler was photographed with known Proud Boys celebrating at an election-night victory party.”
Southern Poverty Law Center’s reporting on the 2023 M4L national summit:
“Bridget was an original MFL founder but left the group’s leadership in late 2021. She remains closely involved with the organization. She won re-election to her Sarasota County School Board seat in August 2022. Florida Proud Boy James Hoel assisted her re-election by campaigning through his organization, Sarasota Watchdogs. Her husband, Christian, was elected vice chair of Florida’s Republican Party in 2019.”
From Southern Poverty Law Center’s reporting designating M4L an anti-government extremist group:
“One of the most notable connections is the association with several chapters with the Proud Boys, a White nationalist group. Pictures have circulated across social media of Moms for Liberty leaders and members posing with Proud Boys in their full regalia.
Bridget Ziegler was recently elected to the Sarasota County school board – a victory due in part to local Proud Boys, who she was pictured celebrating with afterwards. She later attempted to downplay the connection.”
From Mother Jones coverage of the 2023 school board campaign in Bucks County, PA, billionaire Paul Martino:
“also gave at least $100,000 to his other PAC, Bucks Families for Leadership, which funded a slate of Republican school board candidates in Central Bucks. Among them were two local parents from the Moms for Liberty Bucks County Facebook group—Cannon and Lisa Sciscio. Along with another Republican contender, Jim Pepper, they were endorsed by the Proud American Patriots Network, a local group with ties to the national Three Percenters anti-government militia movement.”
From Vanity Fair’s May 31, 2023 coverage of Sarasota county:
“The day before the board next met, Bridget Ziegler—originally appointed to her position by then Governor Rick Scott in 2014—posted to Facebook an educational cartoon about BLM, created by a company whose products the district licensed. Although the video was never shown in Sarasota classes, Ziegler’s post—ending with the admonition, “Our job is to educate, not indoctrinate”—triggered a movement. The following day, and for months to come, the board meeting was packed with angry speakers, including local Proud Boys, charging the district was indoctrinating children.”
Vanity Fair, on the 2022 school board race where ZEM supported Ziegler, Enos, and Marinelli:
“Proud Boys hoisted ZEM signs on county streets and a mailer was sent out, castigating the liberal candidates as “BLM/PSL [Party of Socialism and Liberation]/ANTIFA RIOTERS, PLANNED PARENTHOOD BABY KILLERS, [who] WANT GROOMING AND PORNOGRAPHY IN OUR SCHOOLS.” (Enos and Marinelli did not respond to requests for comment for this article.)”
NBC dove into violent disruptions at school board races in California where M4L and the Proud Boys play prominent roles.
Over at Twitter Jenny Cohn has a good thread on M4L-Proud Boys ties. For instance:
Teddy Wilson also at Twitter has a graphic showing M4L’s multiple ties to the Proud Boys, playing off M4L’s defense that “Moms for Liberty is in no way affiliated with the Proud Boys…”
You can believe Moms for Liberty, or you can believe your “lyin’ eyes.”